How We Help:
ACC & Evidence-Based Treatment Information

Injuries & ACC

At Karori Chiropractic we are registered ACC providers.

If you have recently been hurt in an accident, you may be eligible for reduced treatment fees under the cover of ACC. Chiropractic treatment is covered for a number of injuries including sprains, disc injuries, whiplash, sciatica and knee injuries.

The injuries must be assessed by the chiropractor and reviewed by ACC for approval. Once approved you will be covered for a certain amount of visits within a year of the injury date. With the same claim you can also seek out further treatment with other health care providers.

You may already be covered if you opened a claim with a different health professional within the last year. Give us a call with the details and we can check!

Find out more about ACC claims here. The appropriate forms can be filled out at our clinic and you can receive treatment right away, no medical referral is necessary.

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Back Pain

There is plenty that can be done to decrease your chances of developing back pain. But sometimes the pain comes about no matter how careful you are.

Your spine is a complex mechanical structure built of multiple moving parts. In most people there are 24 uniquely shaped vertebrae, 24 ribs, a sacrum and a coccyx, with over 80 joints and 23 vertebral discs connecting them all together. This spine has many functions including housing and protecting the spinal cord, weight bearing, allowing movement and serving as an attachment point for many bones, ligaments and muscles. If just one of these parts malfunction or become injured, pain can develop.

Chiropractors are highly trained in the different causes of back pain and we employ a variety of methods to best determine what the specific cause is. We use manipulative therapy and/or other techniques with the goal of restoring normal function to the body, allowing the painful areas to heal and decrease in inflammation.

Trusted systematic reviews of chiropractic/manipulative therapy literature have concluded that it is an effective form of treatment for acute, sub-acute and chronic lower back pain, being just as effective as receiving treatment from other healthcare providers such as GP’s or physiotherapists. At Karori Chiropractic we also utilise the flexion-distraction technique. A smaller study found that people who are given this treatment had significantly greater relief from perceived pain compared to those who received an active exercise program from physical therapists, particularly if they were suffering from chronic lower back pain.

Neck Pain

The neck is a vulnerable part of the human spine as it is given the hard task of balancing our heavy heads on our shoulders while also allowing a vast range of movement. Neck pain can start quietly while you sleep, suddenly with an injury or gradually over months of bad habits.

A trusted systematic review showed that there is moderate-quality evidence of manipulative therapy being beneficial for neck pain and in some ways more effective than medication in the intermediate and long term. They concluded that more research is needed to verify their results.

Common causes of neck pain seen in practice:

  • Muscle spasm
  • Spinal joint inflammation
  • Muscle strain
  • Ligament sprain
  • Torticollis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Intervertebral disc injury
  • Nerve irritation/injury
  • Bone injury

Headaches

With over 100 known causes of headaches, it can be hard to know which treatment to seek out.

A highly cited study found that spinal manipulation is an effective form of treatment for cervicogenic headaches and migraines in adults.

Manipulative therapy may also affect the most common type of headache, tension type headaches. A systematic review concluded that “the results suggest patients with TTH receiving manual therapies showed better progress than those receiving conventional treatment or placebo”. However effectiveness could not be assessed and further studies were needed.

It is theorised that these headaches are a result of an issue arising from the sensory information coming from the structures within the neck, similar to the spinal dysfunction theory mentioned below.

Signs that you headache may be coming from your neck:

  • Pain in the neck felt radiating around the head
  • Tight and sore muscles felt around the base of the skull
  • Pressure on the upper neck muscles affect the headache severity
  • History of a recent neck injury
  • Pain aggravated with neck movement
  • Limited ranges of neck motion

For more information, read our blog post: Evidence For Chiropractic Headache Treatment

Pelvic Pain

The sacroiliac (SI) joints are a common source of pelvic pain.

The weight of the upper body is transferred through to the pelvis via the two SI joints. When there is abnormal motion in these joints it can often lead to pain and inflammation, becoming a condition known as sacroiliac joint dysfunction. An SI joint is highly reliant on the surrounding ligament structures for support, therefore anything that comprises these soft tissues can lead to the joint becoming dysfunctional. Pregnancy/childbirth, bad postural habits, sudden movements and forceful impacts are common causes of ligament injury leading to hypermobility of the SI joint. Chiropractic treatment aims to restore normal motion to the SI joint and allow the area to heal.

Another source of pain in this area can be the large surrounding muscles.

Muscles of the body naturally adapt to the physical stress put on them. It is common for people to have desk jobs and sedentary lifestyles which is leading to the weakening of the pelvic muscles as they get less use. The muscles then become sore, tight and tired, struggling to cope with normal daily physical activity. Chiropractors are trained to look for the tell-tale signs of these muscular abnormalities and give out stretching and strengthening advice to combat these issues.

Nerve Irritation

When a nerve is compressed, the signals that pass between the brain and the body can be disrupted or altered. You may feel tingling, numbness, burning or shooting pain in a certain area and notice that specific muscles become weak. The location of these symptoms can give the chiropractor an indication of which nerve is being compressed and where along the nerve it is occurring. We also perform neurological and orthopedic tests to narrow down the possible causes. Often a specific stretch is recommended to help relieve compression, other times a referral for an x-ray or to another health professional is required.

Common causes of nerve compression:

  • Upper body: Cervical disc herniation, osteoarthritic growths, thoracic outlet syndrome (including scalenus anticus syndrome, pectoralis minor syndrome and cervical rib syndrome), cubital tunnel syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Mid body: Intercostal neuralgia.
  • Lower body: Lumbar disc herniation, osteoarthritic growths, spondylolisthesis, piriformis syndrome, obturator nerve entrapment, meralgia paresthetica and tarsal tunnel syndrome.

More rare but serious health conditions can also cause these symptoms such as brain and spinal cord pathologies, diabetes and autoimmune diseases. It is therefore important be checked by a health professional if you start noticing nerve-like symptoms.

Posture Concerns

Your posture is an important indicator of how you musculoskeletal system is functioning as a whole.

At Karori Chiropractic we use photographic posture analysis. This technique allows detection and accurate description of posture anomalies, often finding mild issues that go undetected to the trained eye. Patients are then able to view their own posture to get an idea of severity of the issues and have a better understanding of how there body is currently coping.

It’s OK if you don’t like your photo taken too! We also utilise sight and touch for our postural checks, which can be very useful for checking variations in spinal curvatures and muscle contractions.

Common posture features we find in practice:

  • Scoliosis (sideways curvatures of the spine)
  • Thoracic hyperkyphosis (back hunching)
  • Lumbar hyperlordosis
  • Anterior and posterior pelvic tilts
  • Anterior head and shoulder carriage

When your posture is in a less than optimal position it puts extra pressure on the muscles, joints and ligaments of your body. This leads to visual distortions and often pain through overworked muscles, inflamed joint and ligament laxity.

We explain to patients how their posture came to be and recommend stretches and exercises to reverse the posture anomalies when possible.

General Wellbeing

Research into chiropractic treatment is beginning to open up an interesting view on how a chiropractic adjustment affects the body, shining a light on the potential benefits of this unique form of healthcare.

Increased function and performance:

Chiropractic care has been shown to alter and enhance muscle function in the general population. Adjusting dysfunctional areas in the spine may not only improve spinal function but also improve the way we sense our environment, process information in our brain and control muscles in our arms and legs.

Studies have shown chiropractic treatment may improve proprioceptive ability. This is the sense that allows us to understand how our body is positioned in space and how it moves through this space. This is not only important for athletes who want to perform at their best, but also everyday people who want their body to function optimally with any form of physical movement.

Chiropractic treatment has been shown to change the way the brain processes and sends specific messages to the muscles.  Some research findings include naturally improve reaction times, increased muscle strength and the prevention of muscle fatigue from developing in certain areas.

Back pain prevention:

One study has shown that adjusting a particular joint may influence the feed-forward activation of core stabilising muscles. Feed-forward activation is the ability of the nervous system to activate other muscles before limb movement, to ensure healthy movement of the body without injury.

This is important as studies show people with lower back pain have delayed feed-forward activation of the core stabilising muscles. It has also been determined that people who have altered core muscle recruitment are more likely to have back pain in the future. Therefore, chiropractic care may not only help with back pain, but prevent it from developing in the future.

Fall prevention amongst older adults:

Sensorimotor function is the ability of the nervous system to interpret the sensory information and use it to help control muscle movement. A study determined that 12 weeks of Chiropractic care improves sensorimotor function related to falls risk of community dwelling older adults.

Other findings:

Studies have found adjustments may cause:

  • Improved or altered visual acuity and visual field size.
  • Reduced joint position sense error (the ability to know where your joints are positioned).
  • Altered reflex excitability.
  • Reduced pain thresholds for certain people who are sensitive to pain.

The scientific theory on what chiropractors are treating:

It has been shown that muscles surrounding the spine cease to function normally early on in the development of spinal pain. This issue does not automatically cease when pain symptoms improve.

Other studies have shown that spinal function impacts how the brain organises and interprets sensory information. It also affects how the brain controls the muscles throughout the body.

Researchers have proposed that a problem arises when spinal dysfunction causes your brain to inaccurately perceive the sensory information it is receiving about the world within and around your body. Since the brain uses this information to determine how to specifically control every muscle movement you make, a slight inaccuracy in sensory perception can then lead to further inaccuracies in the way your brain controls your muscles. This may lead to less than optimal body functioning and make you more vulnerable to injury.

In summary:

Spinal muscle dysfunction 

Altered sensory perception

Suboptimal muscle control

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This sections information was sourced from Dr Heidi Haavik’s book, “The Reality Check.” Dr Haavik is a neuroscientist, chiropractor and a world leader in chiropractic research. For a detailed look into these findings, you can find her book here: www.heidihaavik.com